ShareThis Page

Signing dream come true for Shady Side Academy's Briggs

| Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Valley News Dispatch
Shady Side Academy #3 Dennis Briggs runs for tough yardage against the Freeport defense near the goal line during action Friday September 28, at James Swartz Memorial Field in Freeport. Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Knoch's Kyler Kenyon (12) goes airborne after a sack from Fox Chapel's Quintin Wirginis (33) during a game at Knoch High School on Friday Sept. 23, 2011.

Shady Side Academy's senior running back Dennis Briggs recently gave a verbal commitment to play football at Pitt in the fall of 2014.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Briggs gained 473 yards on 82 carries for the Indians last season, an average of 5.75 yards per carry.

“It's always been a dream of mine to play D-I football,” he said. “Plus, Pitt is right around the corner and a lot of my friends will be going to Pitt.”

Briggs is unsure of a major but is looking at pre-med.

“I like working with kids so I may end up doing something in pediatrics,” he said. “I'm just glad to be going to Pitt. The coaches at Pitt had a lot to do with my decision.

“They've told me that I'll be playing running back so I'll do my best to get ready. I know I'll have a lot of work to do. I definitely want to improve my speed.

“There are so many talented athletes at the D-I level. I'm confident, though.”

His coach at Shady Side Academy, Dave Havern, also has confidence in Briggs.

“As the word got out on him, Briggsy was receiving more and more interest from not only good football schools, but top tier academic institutions who have excellent football programs,” Havern said.

“He's a special kid with an outstanding work ethic, boat loads of character and leadership ability, plus he's an exceptionally versatile football player.

“His degree of focus is very rare in a high school ballplayer, whether he's in the classroom or on the field.

“He doesn't have the pop-out offensive stats, but that's probably because he's done the majority of lead blocking for our other backs, which is also a great example of how unselfish a kid Dennis is.

“If Dennis is the type of guy Pitt is recruiting and getting, it speaks well, not only for coach (Paul) Cryst's program but for Pitt as a whole.”

Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.